Ups and Downs

Isn’t it just some kind of craziness that in the span of 24 hours you can go from laughing and enjoying friendship to feeling anxious about a job interview to crying your eyes out about your dad’s death and then laughing at silly interactions?

Life is so bipolar it’s annoying. I hate the swings. I wish it could just be more of a steady stream of little ups and little downs with many breaks between the downs.

I’ve experienced another couple of deaths in the span of four months. My nephew at a wee 4 months old died in February from a rare genetic disease and my step dad just died this past Sunday, June 1st, after a long battle with COPD, congestive heart failure, and kidney failure even after kicking cancer’s ass. He was cancer free and still died at the rather young age of 62.

He wasn’t perfect. He hid too long in his tech-cave, he didn’t socialize often, he hardly finished a single task around the house, he was a devout republican with little room to argue, he liked guns, ate fried food, drank too much Diet Coke and was lit up like a smoke stack smoking whatever brand of cigarettes he could find. He did however love the fuck out of my mom. He never wavered. He never played with her emotions. He didn’t hurt her. He didn’t hit her. He didn’t use drugs. He wasn’t an alcoholic. He didn’t sexually abuse us kids. He didn’t physically abuse us kids. He supported my mom through all of the craziness my siblings put my mom through when they were young adults. He stood beside her and got mad, fussed, fought, and stayed. He stayed. Every day he stayed and for 21 years of marriage he died peacefully at home in his bed during a midday nap. My mom was right beside him and heard him take his last breaths then he was gone.

There were ups and downs in his health since he was first diagnosed with cancer in the fall of 2015. He gained weight and lost it. He would eat well and then not at all. He would be pain free and then he would suffer immensely. He was so sick. He was also just 62. So young and so sick and still loving my mom. He decided against dialysis in his last four months of life as he wanted quality of life, not quantity. He was simple yet complex in some ways. He was a pain in the ass sometimes but had a heart of gold full to the brim with love for his grandkids. He never seemed too keen on me, but that didn’t change the fact that he loved me in his own way. He came into my life so late, I was almost 18 when he and my mom got married and soon after that, not even a year later, I moved out of the state. Regardless, he was the only semblance of a father figure I had consistently for the majority of my life. He was my son’s grandfather; the only one he’s ever known, in fact.

So tomorrow we pay our respects as we lay him to rest in the hands of God our Father. May God receive His son and give him the good news: “My child, it is finished.” Tomorrow will be chock full of tears, tissues, laughter and family. Hopefully it will all balance out and the day will be smooth sailing despite the circumstances.

And maybe life will find a new rhythm that puts it all back in balance.



The Repressed Peach

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